The native shrub Clianthus maximus is a member of the pea family. Its common name of kākā beak (or kōwhai ngutu-kākā) refers to the flowers, which are shaped like the beak of the kākā, a native parrot. The plants are short-lived, and confined to sunny sites in open shrubland or on cliffs. They are highly palatable to browsing mammals and snails. Te Urewera is one of the few areas where they occur naturally. They were widely planted around Māori settlements, and their seeds were used as gifts.
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